Sales managers are the backbone of any successful sales team. Without strong leadership and direction, a sales team will quickly become disorganized and unproductive. If you’re looking to be a successful sales manager, this article gives you seven essential sales manager skills that you need to master.
I know this from personal experience. When I first started out as a sales manager, I was fresh out of college and didn’t have much real-world experience leading a team. It took me awhile to learn the ropes, but eventually I developed the skills necessary to be successful in this role. If you wanty to advance in this career check these crucial seven sales manager skills and learn:
What Is a Sales Manager?
A Sales Manager is the person responsible for leading the sales department of a company.
In a large organization, the sales manager may report to the sales director or head of sales. In smaller companies, the sales manager will likely report directly to the CEO or managing director.
A sales manager plays a vital role in any organization by setting sales goals and quotas and pushing their team to achieve them. The size and type of organization, as well as the product or service it sells, can all affect the specific duties of a sales manager. In general, however, these professionals are responsible for hiring and firing sales staff, identifying training opportunities and providing mentorship, assigning sales territories and more.
As managers, it’s your job to hire and fire, identify where reps need additional training and provide them with it, mentor your sales team members, and divvy up territory.
Creating sales plans and analyzing data to make informed decisions is also part of sales manager responsibilities. You will need to report back to directors regularly on progress, and may even have a hand in steering the future of the business.
Every action they take is geared towards reaching their monthly quota and maximizing profits for their organization.
8 Sales Manager Skills
Whether you’re a new SDR or an experienced Account Executive, many reps aspire to move into Sales Management. But, talking is the easy part. So, how do you actually do it?
If you want to keep advancing in your career, make sure you’re always striving to reach the next level.
A career vision is a board that outlines your career goals, and a career ladder is a chart that lists the steps you need to take to reach your goals.
While the sales management skills needed at a company may vary, there are a few that are universally required.
The job description of a sales manager can vary greatly between companies, but in general, their responsibilities boil down to this: build, lead, and manage a sales team. With these things in mind, you’re probably already thinking of the skills you’ll need — great!
1. Sales Leadership
Just because you have a fancy job title doesn’t mean you’re a good leader. Leadership is a skill and needs to be practiced.
To be an effective leader, you need to be able to inspire, encourage, and advise your salespeople.
As a sales manager, you’ll need to take initiatives regularly to ensure that you’re team is successful. This means being empowered and motivate your sales representatives, while also monitoring their activity. By doing these, you’ll create a team that achieves their goals.
Start using this in your job today!
Help out less experienced sales reps by providing them with guidance and support. Instead of waiting around for management to come to you, take the initiative and try out new sales strategies that you believe will help the company.
There are a few other things you can do to improve your sales performance.
Work on improving your self-esteem. Make other people feel like they’re important to you. Become better at listening. Plan better. Think long term and be assertive. Take risks.
While management and leadership skills are closely related, they are not the same. Management is focused on overseeing and tracking progress, while leadership is about inspiring and motivating others.
If you want to improve your sales skills, there are three key areas you need to focus on:1. Managing the day-to-day sales operations2. Improving metrics and KPIs3. Developing leadership skills
For better time management to increase your productivity, work on your soft skills. You should also focus on a few other things that will improve your performance.
- Be decisive
- Be proactive
- Make a decision and stick to it
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
- Be proactive
- Make a decision and stick to it
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
3) Personal + communication skills
As a manager, you will spend most of your time meeting with your team, talking with them, and solving their problems. Because of this, it’s imperative that you possess strong communication abilities so that you can work with others and collaborate with them.
Studies have found that people who talk in a group tend to over estimate how much of their conversation is being understood by others. This gets worse the more knowledgeable you are about the subject.
To counteract this, you must approach the situation as if you’re a complete beginner.
Communication skills can be improved by over-communicating with your team, but within reason.
If you’re coaching salespeople or training anyone, make sure you explain the logic behind your decisions so they can learn.
4) Recruit, develop, and retain (the best) talent
Take an active part in the sales hiring process at your organization.
Reach out to candidates by sitting in on interviews and spending just a few minutes a day reaching out to them.
The small things you do now will add up to make you successful in the future.
5) Give training + mentorship to your staff
As a leader, you need to have the ability to zoom in and out, looking at the big picture and focusing on individual team members.
To hone your skills, listen to less experienced team members and help them overcome their toughest sales challenges. Offer feedback and advice to help them improve.
6) Create a plan, implement it, and make adjustments as needed
As a sales manager, you’ll need to develop and implement a sales script that your entire team can use. Then, you’ll want to make sure that everyone is following it.
During your implementation of CallRail, you’ll have to figure out what works and what doesn’t. You’ll have to discard what isn’t working and figure out ways to make it more effective.
You can make your own sales documentation or edit existing ones.
No matter what, developing your own sales process is a great exercise for when you eventually have to do it on your own.
7) Forecast Sales Goals
It’s important to have clear direction for you and your team, and to be able to show management that your goals are achievable.
You have a few options for how to forecast your sales. Some popular methods are using trends, regression, and time series.
To predict your sales figures, you’ll need to do a bit of research. First, look back at your past sales numbers. This should give you an idea of how much you can expect to make.
To improve your chances of winning, you’ll need to build and refine your predictive models. The better your models are, the more accurately you’ll be able to forecast your wins.
We touched on this earlier, but it’s important to reiterate. As a Sales Manager, your day-to-day activities will be completely different.
As a key activity, you’ll need to forecast, plan, experiment, and train.
To prepare yourself for this week, take a step back and plan your week out. Make sure you account for any meetings or interactions you have with other colleagues.
In addition to prioritizing your tasks and time, start thinking now about how you’ll prioritize your calls and meetings.
What are the top 3 sales skills?
What are the top 10 sales skills?
If you want to be a successful sales manager, there are eight essential skills you need to master. These include leadership, communication, organization, motivation, mentorship, salesmanship and negotiation skills. By honing these sales manager skills and putting them into practice on a daily basis, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a top-performing sales manager.